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Old 09-13-2012, 02:43 PM   #11
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Paging Revvy...
Not me, I jumped off this horse a long time ago, I feel everything's been said about this a million times over the last 5 years. I just point people to the info, and try to clear up misconceptions, I don't debate it anymore.

Why do we need to re-hash the same arguments? The information is here, even the OP has said he's read them...So why again? No matter how you rephrase something it's still the same discussion. No matter what kind of weapon you may choose, you're still beating the same dead horse with it.

You know why people do it, you know why people DON'T do it.... Try it both ways see how it works for YOU, and respect the fact that other people have different experiences. If you choose to secondary don't bash the folks that are successful with long primary, making snide comments like someone did in another thread like "if you don't want clear beer" or whatever. And vice versus. Whatever we choose we're not idiots, we wouldn't be doing whatever if it didn't work for us.

I don't like cloudy beer, I wouldn't be doing it if my beer wasn't crystal clear. I don't like to lose contests, I wouldn't be still doing it if I didn't win things, and didn't get great judging comments about my beers that I long primaried.

If these things didn't work we wouldn't be doing it, just like crystal pepsi....if something doesn't work then it's discarded.

5 years ago the idea of long primary was scandelous in the brewing community. It went against everyone's deep set fear of yeast and autolysis. AND those of us who thought maybe there was another way were pretty savagely attacked about their beliefs. Now enough people, including people like Palmer and Jamil, have said they were too hasty in their repeating of those old brewing chestnuts. And that long primaries won't lead to off flavors, and may be beneficial. Places like BYO and podcasts like basic brewing, have had intelligent dicussions and conduct at least rudimentary experiments. Some kit instructions and magazine recipes have reflected this shift. It's an accepted practice by many many brewers now. It's a choice.

I don't think it needs to be debated any more. People just need to do what works for them. If people have questions, or have never heard of this OPTION, they need to be answered. If people are still operating from the OLD words of Papazian (written 40 years ago) or the first edition of Palmer, where they erronously said it was HARMFUL, they need to be shown the latest info......But only so they can make up their own minds.

Education is one thing, but incessant debate about it, rehashing the same arguments and ideas already re-hashed a millionfold on here is just a waste of bandwith.

The only way is to experience it for yourself. Like everything else there's different ways to do things, and they both work.

In the beginning it had to be debated, because there was so much out there against this idea, and people were pretty nasty to those of us who had contrary ideas, but not so much anymore. There's now enough anecdotal and even some experimental data, to prove that it is not harmful and it is a valid option.... Whether it works for you or not, THAT'S NOT DEBATABLE ANYMORE.

Regardless of whether you secondary or not, it's about not rushing your beer into bottles. If you rack to secondary for 6 weeks, or if you leave it in primary for 6 weeks, you're probably getting the same overall effect. (Though some of us think yeast contact improves the beer overall.)

Heck if your fermentation is complete in one week, yet you sit it in primary for another week and then secondary for 2 weeks or a month, you still are probably getting the same yeast contact/cleanup time, whether you rack it or not (we can only speculate.) If I do secondary to add fruit or something, I still leave it at least 2 weeks before moving it.

They both work. So rather than debate, just do what works for you.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #12
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5 years ago the idea of long primary was scandelous in the brewing community.
That wasn't my experience in 2005-2006. Feel free to take credit for it, though (I realize you didn't necessarily do that in this post, but you have in others.).
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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They both work. So rather than debate, just do what works for you.
Can't disagree with that!

One comment. I was listening to an old, old Sunday Session (Brewing Network) from back in 2006. It was the first time they had Jamil on (before he started doing his iconic Jamil Show series). He was quite clear that he did not believe in doing secondaries. So, maybe Palmer was advocating using them on his site, but Jamil has been consistent with this for as long has he's been talking.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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I am with Revvy- to each his own. Its why us homebrewers get together.... To share techniques and experiences to make us all better brewers. When I was a sheet metal apprentice, I was put with different journeymen about every 4 weeks. After 4 years, I developed my own way of doing my trade by combining all that I learned from those journeymen. Its the same with homebrewing. A friend of mine brought over a brew the other night that was outstanding ( which is his consistant normal). He measures NOTHING. He just has a feel for what he does, and runs with it. He learned from his older brother ( in the 70s) how to brew. Some people in our homebrew club find it sacrilege that he brews that way, which has caused him to attend fewer meetings because he is tired of hearing the crap. Brew what works for you. Test theorys if you so desire. I have done primary straight to keg, secondarys, three transfers- whatever works for that instance ( and according to how many kegs are currently empty....). But please don't bash someone for what works in their brewery. "Don't judge, lest ye be judged"....

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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I was more interested in if anyone had tried side-by-side comparisons, splitting batches, etc. I think I'm definitely going to do this on my next batch. I totally agree with "to each his own", I'm just curious for my own technique and method, if it really is making a difference or if I can just cut it out. And I also completely agree about the main thing being sufficient time on the primary--I never rack to secondary less than two weeks before pitching, always wait at least a week after the airlock stops talking. Doing that has made a huge difference in the flavor quality of my beers, and the amount of time they need to condition in the bottle before they're ready to drink.

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:33 PM   #16
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I was more interested in if anyone had tried side-by-side comparisons, splitting batches, etc. I think I'm definitely going to do this on my next batch. I totally agree with "to each his own", I'm just curious for my own technique and method, if it really is making a difference or if I can just cut it out. And I also completely agree about the main thing being sufficient time on the primary--I never rack to secondary less than two weeks before pitching, always wait at least a week after the airlock stops talking. Doing that has made a huge difference in the flavor quality of my beers, and the amount of time they need to condition in the bottle before they're ready to drink.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #17
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I know this has been a highly debated topic for a long time but I really don't think anyone was hassling anyone else this time around.

As far as experience, I used to do secondaries all the time. I stopped a while back and ran with longer primaries and my beer has only improved. The last beer I made was an APA that was crystal clear and it went straight from primary to keg and was dry hopped in the keg (in a hop bag).

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #18
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I did see this one, which was what got me interested originally--it seems like there's evidence for both sides, but if this is legit it certainly seems to show the secondary clearing much faster than the one sitting on the yeast cake. I don't have a good explanation for why that might be, although I read some stuff in the other thread that made my head hurt, concerning yeast polarity. I think I'm going to have to enter the lab on this one and test it out for myself. My guess in terms of an overall answer is: it depends. On your fermenting equipment, beer type, yeast strain, etc., etc., etc. But my next batch (probably in a week or so? we're moving, so I'm on hold right now) will definitely be split, one no secondary and one with.

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Old 09-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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Yea, I've heard the BBR podcast where they talked about this. Im kinda curious to run the experiment myself with a very low floccer and no cold crashing. That's one thing that I didn't clarify, I do primary only but I always cold crash before I rack to the keg.

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Old 09-13-2012, 10:28 PM   #20
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I was a secondary fan until 3 batches ago when i started cold crashing my beer. I will not go back to using secondaries unless i absolutely have to. Leaving it on the yeast cake doesn't hurt it, and cold crashing yields clearer beer than i've ever experienced with a secondary. I go straight to kegs so maybe this makes a difference for you, but the risk of infection in addition to the exposure to oxygen are two factors that i can now eliminate from my beer process AND it's easier. except that i have to empty half of my fridge every 2 weeks for the carboys, much to my wife's dismay!

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